October & November Round-up

I’ve been a bit of a nomad these past few months going between home, my blokes flat and his Dads. No wonder I haven’t been sleeping, my body doesn’t know where ‘my own bed’ actually is anymore! Here is a two month round-up for you.

October (a fair bit)

I reviewed this Maleficent tee which I bought from Pop In A Box who sell Funko Pops! but also other alternative pop-culture things.

I was lucky enough to get gifted some products from my one of my fave natural brands Yaoh to review. Total skin saviours in the crazy changing Autumn weather.

With Halloween coming up I put together a Modern Witchy OOTD. I’ve found that this style of dress is perfect if you want something over-the-knee and strappy but have a bit of belly as they emphasise the right curves and hide the ‘I’ve eaten way too much pizza’ kind. I also love this style of boot because they look stylish, don’t cut across legs mid-calf (which is never flattering) and the heel is low and chunky enough to support a wobbly wench like me.

It was my blogs 6th birthday! I’m so glad that I’ve stuck with this particular blog for six whole years and that you’ve all stuck with me too. Thank you so much!

Dyspraxia Awareness Week (7th-13th Oct) celebrated 30 years. For any posts I’ve written relating to Dyspraxia just type the word into the search bar on the lower right side of this blog.

I reviewed Ciate Dewy Stix in Gleam Gold and had mixed feelings about it.

I bought some seasonal and creepy-cute pins from Little Lefty Lou and Em & Sprout (the cat I’d previously bought from Punky Pins and it tends to spin around upside-down unfortunately).

I put together 6 Simple Autumn Style Essentials as we all want to be stylish and warm!

For Halloween I also treated myself to these pre-loved Monster High dolls from ebay which were about a quarter of the price they would have been new. One is a punky vampire and the other is a goth looking ghost. #stylegoals

I reviewed Ciate polish in Paradise Lost – part of their Gelology collection as it’s perfect for Autumn and the upcoming party season.

I compiled a list of Spooky TV Shows to Binge Watch – old and new.

I was so happy to be gifted these beautiful Moonstone rings from Gemstone Silver Jewellery to give my thoughts on.

I bought the oversized bat-wing jumper from Boohoo and lived in reviewed it. Why I look like the actor Ron Perlman in this particular photograph I don’t know.

November (not so much)

My hair was very happy that I reviewed this Shampoo and Conditioner from Yaoh but I begged to differ at one point!

10 Cozy Ideas for Autumn & Winter. I love doing posts like this each year as it makes me feel all cozy and optimistic for the months ahead.

I was gifted an Exercise (resistance) Band by Care Co. and had a lot of fun and some mishaps reviewing it.

When Hunkemoller asked my to choose something from their range of PJ’s and loungewear range I knew I wanted these velour joggers immediately. Here’s what I thought of them.

I thought it only fair to share My Autumn and Winter Skin and Hair Saviours with everyone.

I’d say this photo pretty much sums up my October and November lol

Chrissie

Simple ‘Moroccan’ Hummus Recipe

I know that lemon humous is refreshing with salad on hot days but for the cold Winter weather here is some spicy ‘comfort hummus’.

Vamp It Up Manchester

Arabic_dish_hummus

Gluten and Dairy Free

Ingredients

200g tin of Chickpeas (save water and a small handful of chickpeas for later)

Juice of 1 small Lime

1 teaspoon of Garlic Paste

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin (not essential)

100ml Tahini

5 tablespoons Chickpea Water

4 tablespoons Virgin Olive Oil

2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika

1 1/2 Pinches ( measuring spoon ‘pinch’) of Salt

1 Pinch of Sugar

Method

Chuck everything into a blender and blend until you get a thick but smooth consistency. Top with a sprinkling of whole chick peas, a little smoked paprika and a last squeeze of the lime.

To Serve

With bean falafel, roasted yellow peppers and tomatoes, warm pita, crackers, bread sticks or biscuits. Basically anything that’s heavy on the carbs or your version of comfort food.

Enjoy!

Do you have your own version of hummus?

<3Chrissie<3

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My Autumn & Winter Skin Saviours

My skin and hair have been lurching from one extreme to the other as a result of the changing weather throughout Autumn. It’s now landed on mainly dry with compensatory bouts of oilyness if I ignore it for too long.

Pierre’s Apothecary, Renewing Hair Treatment Mist

Smooth on neat when hair is dry, frizzy and windswept or gently squeeze into wet hair when waves and curls need a refresh.

Murad, Age Reform AHA/BHA Cleanser

I’ve found it’s cheaper to just use an exfoliating and cleanser in one, rather than a chemical exfoliator and cream cleanser. This one has the softest and tiniest granules as well as gentle natural acids to remove dead skin cells and makeup. It leaves skin feeling incredibly smooth and looking radiant.

Neal’s Yard, Wild Rose Beauty Balm

Now that skin has been prepped it will be able to absorb any goodness you apply to it. This balm replenishes the skins lipid barrier and makes skin plump, resilient and protected against the cold, drying air.

My cheek and neck area tends to be dehydrated requiring moisturising; my T-zone tends to be dry requiring a drop of facial oil in the morning (or it overcompensates, producing way too much by the afternoon). I’ve found this balm benefits all areas of my face in one simple application!

e.l.f. Foundation Serum

This is lightweight, medium coverage and doesn’t dry out skin, which I find some foundations can do in the Winter. For a foundation without any silicones, it glides onto skin easily and wears evenly, even on combination skin.

Athleisure Style Joggers from Hunkemoller

When you spend a lot of time chilling in doors, you want to wear something cozy but you don’t want to greet people when wearing washed out cartoon PJ’s from a decade ago. You know you need a serious (grown) up-grade. This is where Hunkemoller comes in handy as they offer pretty and practical pyjamas and lounge-wear.

How cute is this box ^_^

Look at my gorgeous new joggers! With a silky tie at the waste, sparkly sporty stripes down the gently tapered legs and a rich burgundy colour, I invited people around just to show them off – not kidding. They are also warm and pretty enough to go outside in, if you don’t have the time (or simply can’t be bothered, let’s be honest) to get changed.

They are made of a velour type material which I love because a) They are bunny soft b) They have some substance about them so they don’t end up getting baggy knees after a day of wear and c) They look sumptuous, especially in burgundy.

These are a ‘Small’ and although I agree with that as far as the waste band goes, I think they could have been a little more fitted around the top and the back. I’m glad I have slightly thick thighs and a lot of junk in the ole’ trunk, put it that way! To be fair, they are one of the few tapered pants I can wear that don’t feel like they are cutting off the circulation in my ankles and the length is perfect for my 5’8″ height. I’d say overall Hunkemoller sizing is generous.

If you could treat yourself to a lounge-wear/pyjama upgrade for the winter, what item would you choose?

Chrissie

10 Ideas for a Cozy Autumn & Winter

  1. Treating yourself to a new scarf, hat or gloves
  2. Hot chocolate or spiced tea/coffee in a big mug, which you can wrap both hands around
  3. A stroll around a big indoor artisan food or craft fair
  4. Fairy lights decorating a room, before and after Christmas
  5. A candle or perfume with a comforting fragrance
  6. Extra blankets and big cushions on the settee/bed to make a nest from
  7. A thick novel or biography which really engages you
  8. Donating food/clothes to projects and charities for people who are especially vulnerable around this time of year
  9. Big, hearty homemade stews or pies
  10. Having the heating automatically turn on for a while, just before you get out of bed

Chrissie

Care Co – 4 Week Resistance Exercise Plan

Pretty much every Physio I’ve seen has taken into account my little noodle arms, my easily misplaced balance and chronic fatigue and suggested I exercise with a resistance band. So when Care Co – who sell discount mobility aids – asked me to try out an item, that’s what I chose.

What is it?

The Exercise Band (£10) helps you to improve your muscles, fitness, control and co-ordination. You use it’s resistance and your own existing strength to build up more strength. This one smells strongly of latex and is a lovely teal colour. It has numbered positions on it to show you where to place your hands so you can increase the difficulty as you get past the first month.

How and Why?

The booklet contains a four week plan of six different exercises per week. It describes them with easy to follow instructions and illustrations (I’m not great at following instructions thanks to be Dyspraxic but I found this really simple) and also information on diet, general exercise tips and mental health tips, which I all found useful.

I have Hypermobity Syndrome meaning my soft tissue, muscles and joints are too stretchy, flexible and weak so I’d have really preferred the band had a loop on each end to help me hold it better (the booklet does mention consulting your GP if you have joint problems, right at the start). It does have enough room to wrap it around your hands though, if you don’t mind them getting squished, which I didn’t. However, I did need to wear wrist supports when using this.

I really enjoyed working my way through this plan and, I’m not going to lie, the novelty of this weird rubber band. It felt more like I was having fun rather than exercising but I also loved how structured the plan was as I have zero attention span and sporadic motivation, at best.

The Shoulder Press totally defeated me however, as I just didn’t have the strength in weak two or three or four to stretch the band over my head. I actually lost my grip at one point and smacked myself in the jaw! Hardly the first time that I’ve done this over the years btw. My Dad tried it, who stays fairly fit for a bloke in his Seventies and he got it to his jaw, the same as me. My bloke tried it who’s 6’2″ and 16 stone and succeeded immediately. So it is possible!

Can a giant rubber band really make a difference?

I didn’t have the energy to use this everyday but it certainly encouraged me to use it when I did have some. I’ve gotten better at the exercises with practice and my balance and co-ordination have noticeably improved – a big deal for someone with Hypermobilty Syndrome and Dyspraxia (which also effects co-ordination). I also noticed that in just four weeks my muscles adapted to the new kinds of movements.

My lower back was not happy at first but I realised it was because it was already incredibly tense from holding up my slightly floppy spine all day. A massage relaxed the muscles and I’d say the exercises will continue to make my core stronger in the future.

The band immediately highlights your strengths and weaknesses so, if like me, you have chronic fatigue and have to pace your workouts, you could just focus more on the areas that need improvement and reduce the amount you do in just four weeks with the areas that don’t need it as much.

Conclusion

Overall I found the Care Co exercise band to be fun, incredibly versatile, confidence building, easily transportable and storable but more importantly, something that gives me a reason to exercise, rather than an excuse not to.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Yaoh – Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Shampoo – Coconut and Lime (£5.99 240ml)

Contains extracts of rosemary, lavender and chamomile and is free from sodium lauryl sulphate and other harsh chemicals. The lime and coconut scent reminds me of a delicious holiday cocktail. I have tried shampoos in the past (most of the generic brands from big companies) that have left my hair feeling like tangled straw. I’ve tried shampoos that are a lot more gentle but didn’t really do the job. Yaoh shampoo removed a huge amount excess grease, dirt and product build-up but didn’t strip my hair of it’s natural oils. Sometimes I co-wash (meaning just washing with conditioner to gently refresh hair and re-define it’s shape) but I honestly could have sham-washed with this shampoo, it’s that gentle and nourishing.

Rating 5/5

Yaoh Organic Hemp Seed Oil Conditioner – Summer Breeze (£5.99 240ml)

I have to get this out of the way first; both me and my bloke hated the scent of this so I only used it on the back of my hair for the purpose of reviewing it and then my usual conditioner on the rest.

Rating 2/5 (only for that scent though)

Overall

My hair has never been so soft ever before, not even as a child. It’s like I have a totally new (and much calmer) hair type that just falls into shiny loose spirals – wow!

For 33% off all bath products Nov-Dec use code SHAM33

Chrissie

Moonstone Rings from Gemstone Silver Jewelry

When Gemstone Silver Jewelry asked me if I wanted to feature their rings I knew I wanted to choose two with Moonstones. I love the way Moonstones play with the light and appear solid, yet translucent at the same time; this is known as adularescence. Both tbands and mounts are 9.25 stamped, nickle-free silver.

Here they are in direct sunshine.

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Here they are in defused natural light, where you can see the depth of the stones.

Moonstone Ring – Nobble Passion is so pretty with it’s pear shaped stone and dainty band.

Moonstone Ring – Shimmering Yonder is a beautiful globe shape which bounces the light back in obvious blue and purple colours. It simultaneously looks magical and contemporary.

Considering these rings came all of the way from Nevada, I was surprised at how quickly they arrived. The sizing is spot-on and both rings are reassuringly weighty, without feeling clumsy or distracting – well apart from the wonderful stones which I find myself gazing into frequently!

For 15% off your purchase, enter 15FORU at the checkout.

Chrissie

🎃 Spooky TV Shows To Binge Watch Over Halloween 🎃

Stranger Things 2016 –

How could I not include this! With every 80’s horror-fantasy clique, this series somehow manages to seem fresh and retro at the same time. It’s equally charming, funny, subtly creepy and action packed.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1996 – 2003

Total classic about a teenaged slayer, her ‘Scoobie gang’ and her grown up (and very handsome) Watcher who, together, deal with all sorts of supernatural goings on in the town of Sunnydale. Snappy dialogue and wonderful three-dimensional characters.

Preacher 2016 – 

Based on the adult comic book series by DC’s Vertigo line, this story is about a jaded preacher who, stirred by a crazy happening at a church, joins up with his ex and a vampire to fight injustice and to find god. If you are vegetarian you might want to skip all of the scenes with the self proclaimed ‘King of meat’. Thoughtful, darkly funny and a bit nuts!

Supernatural 2005 –

Two brother follow their fathers lead and hunt supernatural creatures. Some episodes can be genuinely creepy but it’s a bit of a mixed bag – depending on what creeps you out.

Doctor Who 2005 –

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The Dr arrives again – this time in the form of a woman who can’t quite remember who she is. When strange things start to happen in the Northern town, she teams up with the people who found her as a race to survive ensues.

The Strain 2014 – 2017

One of the more creepy shows in the list but as a result of a particular person and circumstance, rather than the marauding zombies hordes. The Strain goes from sci-fi outbreak thriller – to holocaust flash-back drama – to zombie horror.

Charmed 2018 –

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Modern take on the beloved 1998 series of three sisters who discover they are much stronger together as they have magic abilities. And boy will they need them!

Grimm 2011-2017

A detective realises he descended from a line of Grimms who are sworn to hunt vesesen – people who turn into animals and other beings – who are disrupting the equilibrium. What happens when he realises some of them are his neighbours and how does he explain everything to his girlfriend and colleagues? Loosly based on Grimms Fairytails, this show is so much fun!

The X-Files 1993 – 

This classic, iconic show has covered, sci-fi, fantasy, pseudo science, the paranormal, myths and legends and in a few episodes straight up horror. Here’s a link to the 10 most scary episodes so you know what to avoid, hehe!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Sabrina is still about a teen witch coping with everyday teen life but it’s darker than the original; a mash-up of True Blood meets Pretty Little Liars in tone maybe?

Which ones have you watched or are planning on watching? 

Chrissie V—-V

Oversized Batwing Jumper – Boohoo

This oversized batwing jumper from Boohoo (£25) is the statement jumper for A/W. It’s soft, cozy and stylish.

Fit

The neckline is just right; not too sloppy and not too tight. I’m 5’8″ and the bottom hem falls just below my bottom. The sleeves are way past my wrists and the batwing cut holds in any body warmth but is easily realised with a quick flap, ha! I’m a U.K. size 12 and I’m so glad I ordered a ‘small’ as that is certainly over-sized enough.

Style

This is described as ‘lime’ but I would say it’s more of an acid yellow-green, which is very flattering on medium-dark skin tones. The length is perfect to wear with leggings, skinny jeans or to dress down a leather mini. If you are fairly short, this would be jumper-dress length. I love the bat wing style, which still works with an oversized jumper as the bottom hem creates shape. Teamed with black this colour is bright! With grey it’s more subtle and teamed with white it looks really fresh and could carry you right through to Spring.

Chrissie